A recent study on the effects of cannabidiol products and driving ability should provide some peace of mind for consumers of wellness and topical cannabidiol products, as well as those whose worry about those effects may be preventing them from using CBD products.
An Australian study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that CBD ingestion alone does not impair driving, while moderate amounts of the main intoxicating component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produce mild driving impairment lasting up to four hours.
The study by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney and conducted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
“These findings indicate for the first time that CBD, when given without THC, does not affect a subject’s ability to drive,” said Dr Thomas Arkell, the study’s lead author. “That’s great news for those using or considering treatment using CBD-based products.”
The study involved 26 healthy drivers given four different types of cannabis in a random order to via vaping on four separate occasions. Each driver’s performance was then assessed on the road in real-world conditions along a 60-mile stretch of Netherlands public highway in a dual control car with a driving instructor present.
Participants vaped cannabis containing mainly THC, mainly CBD, THC and CBD in combination, or placebo cannabis with no active components. Drivers were subjected to one-hour tests twice – the first coming 40 minutes after vaping and a second time after four hours.
The study results go further, though, than allaying any fears of CBD consumption on cognitive ability. Arkell said that legal jurisdictions are grappling with the issue as the industry continues to emerge. He said the results can be instructive for law enforcement and government officials at all levels in formulating legislation and enforcement policies.
“Road safety is a primary concern,” Dr Arkell said. “These results should allow for evidence-based laws and regulation for people receiving medical cannabis.”
The emergence of medical use of cannabis as well as a burgeoning CBD products market has created an evolving standard for driving under the influence of cannabis. Previous studies of the effects of cannabis on driving have focused on smoked cannabis containing THC without isolating products and methods that deliver CBD without or in combination with THC.
“This is the first study to illustrate the lack of CBD effects on driving and to also provide a clear indication of the duration of THC impairment,” said Dr. Iain McGregor, academic director of the Lambert Initiative.